Cyprus - Consular Information Sheet
June 22, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Cyprus is a developed Mediterranean
island nation divided "de facto" into two areas. The
government of the Republic of Cyprus is the internationally recognized
authority on the island but, in practice, its control extends
only to the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island. The northern
area operates under an autonomous Turkish-Cypriot administration.
In 1983, this administration declared itself the "Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus," which is only recognized by
Turkey. Facilities for tourism in the Republic of Cyprus are highly
developed. Most facilities in north Cyprus, while adequate, tend
to be smaller and less modern.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required for travel
to Cyprus. Tourist and business visas are issued at the port of
entry for a stay of up to three months. For further information
on entry requirements for Cyprus, travelers can contact the
Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus at 2211 R Street NW, Washington,
D.C. 20008, tel: (202) 462-5772, or the Consulate in New York,
13 E. 40th St., New York, New York, 10016, tel: (212) 686-6016.
The Embassy's Internet address is http://www.cyprusembassy.org,
or e-mail email@example.com.
Since 1974, the Cypriot government has designated Larnaca and
Paphos international airports, and the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca,
and Paphos, as the only legal points of entry into and exit from
Cyprus. These ports are all in the government-controlled southern
part of the island. Entry or exit via any other air or seaport
is not authorized by the Cypriot government. It is possible for
visitors to arrive at non-designated airports and seaports in
the north, but they should not expect to cross the United Nations-patrolled
"green line" to the government-controlled areas in the
south. Such travel is not permitted by the government of Cyprus,
even for transit purposes. Visitors arriving through designated
ports of entry in the south normally are able to cross into the
north for day trips. Policy and procedures regarding such travel
are subject to change.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all
Cypriot laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also
be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Cyprus
citizens. U.S. citizens whom the Cypriot government considers
to be Cypriot citizens may be subject to compulsory military service
and other aspects of Cypriot law while in Cyprus. Those who may
be affected should inquire at the Cypriot Embassy regarding their
status. U.S. citizens whom the Turkish-Cypriot authorities consider
to be "citizens" may be subject to compulsory military
service in north Cyprus. For additional information, see the Consular
Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for
Dual Nationality flyer.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: While civil disorder is uncommon
in Cyprus, demonstrations sometimes occur, and there have been
occasional violent incidents along the "green line"
dividing the two sides of the island. Terrorist groups from the
Middle East in 1996 and previous years used Cyprus as a site for
carrying out acts of terrorism against third-country targets.
CRIME: Cyprus has a low rate of crime. The loss or theft
abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the
local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens
may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A
Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a trouble-free journey.
The pamphlet is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is available at a combination
of government hospitals and private clinics. Many of the private-sector
doctors have been trained in the United Kingdom or the United
States. While fees are generally lower than those in the U.S.
medical supplies are often more expensive. In addition, ambulances
do not provide medical care en route to the hospital.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs
incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage
is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your
trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare
provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses
you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: The World Health Organization
considers Cyprus to be one of the healthiest areas of the Mediterranean.
Water supplies are potable and the refuse collection/sewage disposal
system is adequate. Communicable diseases such as typhoid are
rare. Allergies are commonplace due to the dry and dusty climate.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be
obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Cyprus is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety Of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Condition/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Condition/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair
There are few public buses and no rail lines. Taxis are widely
available, but often do not have operating seat belts.
The Cypriot transportation system is comparable to that of Western
Europe. Traffic moves on the left (British style), i.e. the driver
sits on the right side of the front seat. Modern motorways link
the major cities. Secondary roads, especially in mountainous areas,
tend to be narrow and winding, and are not as well-maintained
as the major highways. Traffic laws, signs and speed limits are
consistent with the standards in use throughout Europe. Traffic
circles (roundabouts) are often utilized at major intersections.
The use of seat belts (in front seats) and child car seats is
compulsory. Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, and the
use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited. Motorway speed
limits are set at 100 kph (62 mph). Liability insurance is mandatory.
Enforcement of traffic laws and regulations is not as consistent
as local authorities would like and the government is looking
at ways to improve road safety. In recent years Cyprus has ranked
among the top three countries in Europe, on a per capita basis,
in regard to traffic fatalities. Speeding, tailgating, overtaking
and the running of caution lights are commonplace and major causes
of accidents. Emergency assistance is available by calling 199.
The information above applies only to those areas under the control
of the Republic of Cyprus. Road safety conditions in north Cyprus
(the Turkish-Cypriot administered areas) are similar to conditions
in the south, except that the road network is less developed.
Insurance purchased in the Republic of Cyprus is not valid in
the Turkish-Cypriot administered areas. Emergency assistance is
available by calling 155.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page
at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For
specific information concerning Cyprus driving permits, vehicle
inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Cyprus
Tourism Organization in New York via the Internet at http://www.cyprustourism.org/.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority
to operate such service, between the U.S. and Cyprus, the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Cyprus's
Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact
the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Cyprus customs authorities may enforce
strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export
from Cyprus of items such as firearms. There are no restrictions
on religious materials and medication for personal use. It is
advisable to contact the Embassy of Cyprus in Washington for specific
information regarding customs requirements. The
U.S. Customs Service may impose corresponding import restrictions
in accordance with the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation
Act. Contact the Customs Service at 202 927-2336 or Internet
http://exchanges.state.gov/education/culprop for further information.
Cyprus customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission
Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission
of professional equipment, commercial samples, an/or goods for
exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA
Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International
Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036,
issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For
additional information call 212-354-4480, send
an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.uscib.org
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Cyprus's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal
drugs in Cyprus are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: There are restrictions on the photographing
of military installations in both southern and north Cyprus. English-language
signs are generally posted in sensitive areas advising of the
restrictions. However, visitors should refrain from photographing
military installations and/or personnel regardless of whether
warning signs are posted, and should comply with all reasonable
requests from local authorities if confronted regarding the use
of photographic equipment.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: Americans
living in or visiting Cyprus are encouraged to register at the
Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus and obtain updated
information on travel and security within Cyprus. The
U.S. Embassy in Nicosia is located at Metochiou and Ploutarchou
Street, Engomi, telephone (357)(2) 776-400; Internet address:
http://www.americanembassy.org.cy. The U.S. Government also maintains
an office in northern Cyprus at 6 Saran Street, Kaymakli, Nicosia,
telephone (392) 225-2440.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet issued December 27,
2000 to add information on Entry Requirements, Dual Nationality,
Medical Insurance, Other Health Information, Traffic Safety and
Road Conditions, Aviation Safety Oversight, Customs Regulations
and to delete Y2K information.